Say What?

NBA owner gets lifetime ban for bigotry 


Donald Sterling is finished as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers because of a surreptitiously recorded conversation in which he admonished his mistress for “associating with black people”  and having her picture taken with Magic Johnson, who heads NBA charity efforts in behalf of inner-city youths.

“It’s too bad you can’t admire him privately,” Sterling is heard saying.  “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f—k him, but don’t put him on Instagram for the world to have to see . . .”

TMZ broadcasted the audiotape of the surprisingly frisky octogenarian speaking to the alluring, alarming and mysterious V. Stiviano, who’s about a third of his age, a woman of multiple aliases and ethnicities. She’s accused of being a “gold-digger” in a lawsuit filed by Shelly Sterling, wife of the billionaire, whose racial theories were quickly denounced by people of just about every ethnicity.

Johnson responded to Sterling’s rant by promising never to attend a Clippers game until there’s new ownership.

Michael Jordan, one of Sterling’s fellow NBA owners, said he was “outraged” and “disgusted” by the tape.  New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan, who’s considered the intellectual equal of Sterling, said, “We as a league must stand together in condemning his ignorance.” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti used the adjective “despicable.”   

President Obama took time off from the Ukraine crisis and his tour of Asia to weigh in on Sterling, calling him one of the “ignorant folks” who “want to advertise their ignorance.”

Excuse me, Mr. President:  Sterling was not advertising.  He was revealing his inner-most ignorance to his lover, thinking this was a private conversation.  You know, the kind the NSA likes to hear? 

When Sterling’s media-friendly wife and then Sterling himself admitted he was in fact the bigot on the tape, NBA commissioner Adam Silver imposed the maximum sentence for bigotry or anything else:  a $2.5 million fine (about .01 percent of Sterling’s net worth) and a lifetime ban from having anything to do with an NBA team.

 Silver added that he will do everything in his power “to force a sale” of the franchise.

No sports owner has been so punished for social commentary since the Cincinnati Reds’ Marge Schott in 1996 said Adolf Hitler “did some good at the beginning but he just went too far.”

Schott was soon ushered out of her ownership.  A similar fate almost certainly awaits Sterling, as corporations withdraw advertising from the Clippers and by extension the NBA. 

If not for Sterling and his technologically adept consort, the NBA would be in its greatest glory.  The opening round of the postseason is being called “the best ever,” featuring seven overtimes in eight nights.

But in a protest of Sterling, the Clippers warmed up with shirts inside-out to hide the name of the team.  They wore black socks and black wrist bands.  As if a further statement were needed, they lost the ensuing playoff game to lower-seeded Golden State by 21 points.


For link to Forbes’ “Sex, Denial and Audiotape,” click here.


Nick Young says he’s NBA’s ‘top shooting guard’

Nick Young, the 6th man for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have become one of the NBA’s worst teams, issued a tweet claiming he’s “the top shooting guard” in the league.

He’s a good shooter, averaging 17.9 points per game, but he may be better at shooting off his mouth.  He nicknamed himself “Swaggy P” and became known for celebrating his 3-point shots before they went in.


Investigation of Jameis ‘was no investigation’

The investigation of quarterback Jameis Winston by Florida State University and Tallahassee police was, according to the New York Times, “virtually no investigation at all.”

The Times, after its investigation of the investigation, said: “University officials, in apparent violation of federal law, did not promptly investigate either the rape accusation or the witness’s admission that he had videotaped part of the encounter.”

John Saunders of ESPN’s Sports Reporters lamented that Winston, who was not legally charged, now gets tried again in the court of public opinion.  “The judicial process decided not to press charges against the young man.  That should be the end of it.” 

Dear John:  Once your name appears as a suspect in a police report, there’s never an end to it.

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